How Long Does It Take To Pressure Wash A House?
Over time, your house can start to build up dirt, grime, and other unpleasantries since it’s exposed to the elements daily. Pressure washing can help you keep your home’s exterior looking its best, but do you have time to do it? How long does it take to pressure wash a house?
It takes between two and four hours to pressure wash most houses, but it can be as little as 30 minutes. The main factors determining how long it takes are the house size and design and the type of pressure washer you use. Also, the amount of dirt or grime built up on your house will influence how long it takes to pressure wash it.
Whether you’re planning to pressure wash your house as a DIY project or hire a company, it takes some planning. Knowing how long to expect the project to take can help you determine when to do it. It might also be the deciding factor in whether or not you use a professional service.
What Factors Influence How Long It Takes To Pressure Wash A House?
You can pressure wash a house in as little as 30 minutes or over four hours. But those are on the extreme ends of the process. Plus, it’s for the actual pressure washing itself.
You also need to factor in the prep time, like applying necessary cleaning solutions, closing windows, etc. Therefore, the average time it takes to pressure wash a house is usually between two and four hours.
The time varies because there are many factors that determine how long it will take to pressure wash a house.
The Type Of House
Different materials take longer than others to clean because of how they hold onto dirt and grime. Plus, you have to adjust the force of your pressure washer to accommodate certain materials. For example, you need to use a lower setting for stucco than you would for brick.
If you have vinyl siding, it typically needs a gentler clean than stucco, and so on. So, the type of house can affect how long it takes (and how much it will cost) to pressure wash your home.
Your Pressure Washer
A pressure washer with a higher psi that delivers more gallons per minute can get a job done faster than one with less psi. However, keep in mind this doesn’t mean you should run out and get the most powerful pressure washer available.
Make sure you opt for a washer ideal for residential use and that won’t be too strong for your home’s surface. Generally, a sufficient and adequate psi for a home/residential job is roughly 2,700 to 3,200 psi.
Also, consider the type of nozzle you’re using. A wider spray is gentler and covers a broader area but takes longer to clean the surface. Or you might need to switch to a different setting or nozzle, depending on the area you’re cleaning.
If working with a two-story house, you want to make sure you have an extension nozzle that doesn’t compromise the pressure. Otherwise, it won’t get the job done successfully or will take you a lot longer than it should.
How Dirty Is Your House’s Exterior?
Obviously, a lot of dirt and gunk will take longer to clean than a little bit. If it’s been a while since you’ve pressure washed your house, it means things have had more time to build up and settle into the surface.
Therefore, it’s going to take you longer to pressure wash than if you regularly clean your home’s exterior. Also, your environment will influence how much builds up on your home.
Plus, if your home has a lot of nooks and crannies and details, these are all places dirt can gather and stick. So you’ll need to spend more time getting into these crevices while pressure washing, which adds to the time.
House Size Primary Factor In How Long It Takes To Pressure Wash A House
Of course, one of the most significant determinants of how long it takes to pressure wash a home is its size. A one-story home will take less time than a two-story, and a smaller home takes less time than a larger one. Unless the smaller house is significantly dirtier than the larger one, in which case, they could take the same amount of time.
As you can see, there are lots of variables that influence how long it takes to pressure wash a house. But, for perspective, a small, one-story, 1,200-square-foot home might take about 30 minutes to one hour to pressure wash. But a 2,500-square-foot one-story home could take closer to one to one-and-a-half hours.
How Do You Calculate Square Footage For Pressure Washing A House?
When measuring homes for pressure washing quotes, most professionals use linear feet instead of square footage. They usually charge more per linear square foot than per square foot. This is because linear just takes into account the length of the structure, so it’s a bit of a looser estimate of the entire area.
It makes it easier to quote larger jobs like this, instead of considering every detail like soffits, trim, etc. But note that they would measure the length of every side of your house. So if you have any interesting angles or an addition, that would be measured separately. Then, all of the numbers are added together for the overall number of linear feet.
What Does Pressure Washing A House Cost?
On average, pros charge about $1 per linear foot for a one-story house but double that fee for a two-story. If your home’s exterior is a hardier surface to pressure wash, like brick, pros could quote by square foot.
They would measure the length and height of every surface and add it all together. This would typically cost less than linear feet since it’s a more exacting measurement.
The cost for pressure washing per square foot averages about $0.25 per square foot. But it could go as low as $0.15 to upward of $0.40 per square foot, depending on other factors. Depending on all of the above factors, you could pay an average of $250 to over $600.
How Long Does It Take To Pressure Wash 1,000 Square Feet?
Consider the average amount of dirt and grime that commonly builds up on a home’s exterior. If you have a 1,000-square-foot home (one story), you could pressure wash the home in roughly 30 minutes. This does not include any prep or clean-up work.
If the home has never been pressure washed or it’s been a while, it could take you twice as long. Remember to consider all variables when estimating your work time.
How Long Does It Take To Pressure Wash A Two-Story House?
A two-story house with the same square footage as a one-story home will take longer to pressure wash. So, a 1,000-square-foot home with two stories would take about an hour to an hour and a half. But it still depends on the amount of dirt and what the house is made of.
How Long Does It Take A House To Dry After Pressure Washing?
If you’re not planning to paint your home after pressure washing, you don’t really have to worry too much about the dry time. But if you do plan to paint, it’s imperative to let it dry thoroughly before painting.
This can take anywhere from 24 hours to over three days, depending on outdoor conditions. So, make sure you factor the dry time into your overall timeline. Especially if pressure washing is part of your prep for painting or doing similar work on your home.
How Often Should You Pressure Wash Your House?
For most homes, pressure washing once a year is a good rule of thumb. This is for homes with metal, vinyl, or composite siding or brick homes. If you live in an area where more dirt and grime tend to accumulate on your house, you might need to do it more often.
Or example, near a dirt road or drier area where you don’t get as much rain to wash things away, etc. But if you have wood siding, it’s better only to pressure wash as needed. For example, when you have significant grime or mildew unless you have a very gentle nozzle.
Pressure Washing Isn’t The Same As Power Washing
Power washing and pressure washing are not precisely the same. The primary difference is power washing uses heated water. No matter which you use, take precautions.
Pressure washing your home isn’t a beginner project, especially if your home’s exterior is a more delicate surface. It’s more involved than cleaning your driveway or patio furniture.
You need to take care to use the right tools and techniques to avoid damaging your home. But power washing is especially not for DIYers. Since it uses heated water, it introduces many more risks to the project if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Many factors influence how long it will take to pressure wash a house. You need to consider the type and size of the house and your pressure washer’s strength. It’s also important to factor in the amount of dirt, mildew, and other grime that’s built up on your home.
It can take as little as 30 minutes to over four hours to pressure wash a home. But you also need to factor in prep time and how often you pressure wash. For example, if you don’t pressure wash often, more dirt can accumulate, leading to a longer work time.
On average, you can expect to need closer to two to four hours for your entire pressure washing project. A two-story home will take longer than a one-story home of comparable square footage.
If you plan to paint your house after pressure washing, you need to factor in the dry time. It can take anywhere from 24 hours to over three days for your home to dry entirely, spending on outdoor conditions.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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